Woman Attacked by Raccoons

POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 8:54am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

The Polk County Sheriff's office says 74-year old Gretchen Whitted was viscously attacked by raccoons in her front yard. Lisa Bilik has been were her mother in the hospital for most of the day.

”She said she came out here because she wanted to shoo the raccoons away and then all of a sudden they were all over her and she fell, I guess they knocked her down and she hit her head,” said Bilik.

Dan Steinmetz and his wife heard their neighbors’ screams for help. “Yea, I was second on the scene. She's definitely ripped up, I mean her legs are filleted, it was bad,” said Dan Steinmetz.

Steninmetz says he's seen an occasional raccoon in the neighborhood late at night but didn't believe they'd become a problem. Monday Polk County animal control officers spent the entire day in the neighborhood checking traps in the area every hour.

The traps are baited with cat food and sardines. Lisa Bilik believes the attack may have been caused because someone in the neighborhood has been feeding the animals. “I think one of the main things we need to get across is, someone's been feeding them in the neighborhood and it's very important that this kind of thing can result as a matter of feeding wild animals,” said Bilik.

Now her mother is having to deal with severe injuries as an apparent result of someone's misguided kindness to animals. “She's got scarring down here face and her chest is covered with scratches and her back is covered with scratches and she's in pretty rough shape,” said Bilik.